Cinema: They Got What They Wanted ISHTAR

Directed and Written by Elaine May

"Like Webster's Dictionary, we're Morocco bound." That lyric, warbled by Hope and Crosby as they jounced along one of their more amiable roads back in 1942, is outrageous enough to have been penned by Rogers and Clarke, the comically dreadful songwriting team played by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman in Ishtar. The two pictures share similarities besides their North African setting: agreeably low-keyed playing by their stars, a plot that involves them dangerously in local politics, and about the same quota of gags. There is one important difference: Ishtar cost roughly 40 times as much as Road to Morocco. Laughter can...

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